Though this trend might not have reached Pakistan yet but believe it or not, the world of the fast food is now in decline. Finally it seems that people have fallen out of love with high calorie burgers and seeking healthier alternatives instead.
McDonalds has already tried to combat the global drift away from junk food, by offering more salads and healthier dishes alongside traditional staples like chicken nuggets or Big Macs. However, the more complex menu has only slowed down service, further exacerbating the problem.
Even in US considered the spiritual home of junk food, this trend is happening fast as last year alone saw McDonalds sales drop by 3 percent.
Many of the customers in US and Europe are gravitating towards the so-called “fast casual” restaurants, such as Chipotle, the burrito chain, which are slightly more expensive than McDonalds, but are perceived as offering better quality fare.
Moreover the business is also battling to regain consumer confidence in Asia, after it emerged that a meat supplier had sold expired meat to McDonalds and other fast food businesses. As expected, immediately after this incident sales fast dropped throughout China, one of the most important markets for McDonalds.
And if this is not enough, recent US tangle with Russia has further worsened the problem as Russians now simply refuse to buy anything American, especially McDonalds.
Sadly it’s not just the fast food market but also the fizzy drinks one as people no longer desire high-sugar, high-calorie fizzy drinks, and are seeking out healthier alternatives instead.
Last year alone saw Coca Cola profits tumble by thirty percent. Coke’s efforts to reverse this trend by introducing a raft of low-sugar alternatives to classic Coca-Cola, including the zero-calorie Coke Zero might only have worsened the decline as customers’ concern about the potential negative effects of artificial sweeteners those drinks use has further damaged the brand name of the Coca Cola company.
It seems in recent years, people’s awareness about a healthy diet has increased greatly and now they desire quality along with taste.
Ironically just when the symbol of McDonalds had come to be identified as a symbol of the modern era civilization and its consumerist culture, its sales have started going down. Alas now the high quality education in present era is bearing its fruits.
Pakistanis too need to understand the health hazards of dining out at places such as McDonalds and the importance of a healthy diet. Our government should also try to educate people about these issues. Nevertheless hopefully soon this trend will reach Pakistan too.